As you will probably know, two days ago I published a transcript of an interview with the experimental writer Jean-Pierre Sertin. Though we are old friends, Sertin nonetheless asked to see a copy of the transcript before it appeared online. I happily obliged, seeing little to which he might take exception. I was, thus, surprised to receive a phone-call from Sertin, in which he claimed that I had ‘taken severe liberties with the truth’ pointing to a particular place in the text where I had written, in reference to the writer: ‘he giggles unnervingly’.
‘What?’ squealed Sertin down the phone – ‘giggles unnervingly? I never did that! Riecke you wretch, you loathsome hound, you truth-bender you!’
‘I am nothing of the sort,’ I replied: ‘truth and I are locked in an eternal embrace and you may lop my tongue off if I am wrong’.
To show that I was serious, I offered to play back the tape on which I had recorded the interview. Sertin took me up on the offer and, together, we reconsidered the nature of the incriminating giggle. Sertin listened in careful and honest silence, before coming to what was, all things considered, a brave conclusion.
‘Goodness, Georgy, you’re quite correct: that giggle was unnerving’.
Because I am a mature sort of fellow, I did not say ‘told you so’. I did, however, think it.